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This is a demonstration of the “GoalWalk” method from the 2nd module of Integrative Systemic Coaching. GoalWalk is an approach which uses a client’s imagination to activate subconscious resources and recognize unconscious emotional obstacles to achieving a goal. This approach is primarily diagnostic, so during this process we focus primarily on gathering information rather than solving problems, which comes later.

The transcript was taken in May 2020 during an online training. Kosjenka asked if anyone had a relatively simple goal so she could show the group the basic steps for the exercise. But, of course, rarely is anything so simple …

 

ELLA

It’s a very specific goal. Not sure if it’s good for this kind of demonstration. I want to pay off my debts.

KOSJENKA

Why not, let’s see. Close your eyes, please. When you think about paying off your debts, please check first in which direction is your future.

ELLA

It’s in front of me to the right.

KOSJENKA

Diagonally?

ELLA

Yes.

KOSJENKA

Think about the goal of paying off debts, and check in which direction do you feel the achievement of that goal.

ELLA

It goes at first to the right and then it turns left and it draws a circle. Like a lasso.

KOSJENKA

That’s interesting. What do you feel it might mean, Ella? Maybe it simply means that you need to make a detour to come back to the starting position, or maybe it means something else.

ELLA

It feels like when I walk towards that goal I’m not coming back to the same point because the goal is closer now, but it feels like I have to go through that lasso circle to continue.

KOSJENKA

It’s generally interesting to notice whether the future in which the client achieves the goal is aligned with the general sense of the future. We’ll talk about that more later. Let’s go into it, Ella. Please focus on Ella who has paid off her debts in the future. Focus in your mind on the first step into that future. How do you feel about that step, or maybe what do you see on that step?

ELLA

I can see myself with my arms wide open, I’m facing the sun and I’m smiling and I’m calm.

KOSJENKA

Great. In your mind, make that first step. Imagine to step into the future. Physicists say that time is a dimension of space. You could say in this way we make time a dimension of space mentally. Imagine you are one step in the future, what happens on this step, what do you do?

ELLA

I’m looking around and I don’t know what to do with myself.

KOSJENKA

Explore that feeling. Can you describe some more what makes you feel you don’t know what to do with yourself?

ELLA

I’m in a completely new place, I feel like I’m spinning in a circle. This is something new for me. I feel some fear and anxiety. I don’t know where to go, what direction to go. This is so new to me that I don’t know what to do with myself.

KOSJENKA

What are you afraid of? It doesn’t have to be any logical or realistic fear, by the way.

ELLA

The fear is as if my life was going to end. I’m afraid to take another step. I don’t know where to go, what to do.

KOSJENKA

Are you afraid of being free of debt, or are you afraid of something you need to do to pay off your debt, or something else?

ELLA

It’s more of a fear of that situation where I’ve already paid my debt.

KOSJENKA

What worries you about paying off your debts? Maybe you would be too free? Maybe you would have too much money? Maybe you would be able to feel good about yourself? Or maybe, for whatever reason, it’s normal for you to feel in debt? Or maybe something quite different.

ELLA

I feel I don’t believe achieving this goal is possible, and I feel I don’t know that reality in which I’ve paid off those debts. This is just completely new. Also, maybe I’m afraid that I would gain too much freedom and I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

KOSJENKA

This is a nice example of what Yvonne asked about earlier, a goal changing during the exercise. Ella, make a wish, how do you want to feel in this context.

ELLA

I would like to feel free and I would like to know how to use that freedom. And feel safe.

KOSJENKA

Great. Which of those three goals first? Do you need freedom to feel safe or do you need safety to feel free?

ELLA

I need to feel safe to feel free.

KOSJENKA

So safety comes first, then freedom and then, I imagine, knowing what to do with that freedom. Or maybe you first need to know what to do with freedom, so that you can allow yourself to be free?

ELLA

I think that as I soon as I feel safe the freedom will come easily, and when it comes I will know what to do with it.

KOSJENKA

So safety, then freedom, then knowing what to do with the freedom should be easy, and then you can pay off your debts. A side question, does being in debt somehow make you feel safer? I know it doesn’t sound very logical but emotional logic is often different than intellectual logic.

ELLA

Yes, somehow I feel safer in this reality, when I have debt because it’s familiar.

KOSJENKA

Maybe your parents used to be in debt often, or something like that?

ELLA

No, but actually when I was already adult, my father won a lot of money in a roulette, or some other game like that, but he got so afraid of what would happen if he walked away with that money, he thought he might get hurt because of it. He got so scared he immediately lost all of it. This was shortly before he died. At that time he lost everything he had.

KOSJENKA

Who knows, it might be fear of money, fear of freedom, it might be interesting to explore, but not at this moment. Focus on the first goal, safety, how far is Ela in the future who feels safe?

ELLA

It’s hard to tell. I think it’s five steps but it could be more because she’s small, but it feels like five steps.

KOSJENKA

Focus on the first step again. How do you feel?

ELLA

I don’t know, it feels like I’m in a forest or in a garden where I can see some sun, but it’s coming through the leaves so it’s dark, but there is sun somewhere out there.

KOSJENKA

This is only diagnostics; we will not explore everything in detail right now. We would go back to it later if you were my client. For now, simply make a step in the future and notice, are you out of the forest, or are you still in the forest?

ELLA

Now I’m out of the forest, I’m in the open space there is a lot of sunshine here. I’m kind of in between forests, I can see there is a forest behind me and one in front of me, but I’m in the open space. But at the same time, I feel that I can always make a turn, I can change direction, I can go towards the field and stay in the sun.

KOSJENKA

Great, you can get a lot of interesting metaphors in this work. I’m curious, what would changing direction mean, maybe a part of you would like to avoid going forward, what do you think, Ella?

ELLA

I would like to change the direction here, I would like to go towards the field, yellow field, some grains grow there. There is no path, but I would like to go there.

KOSJENKA

Just check: in one direction is a sunny field and in the other direction is your desire for safety, but it means you need to go through a forest. Maybe there is a part of you that wants to go to safety and another part of you that would prefer to stay where it’s nice, or do you see another way you could take?

ELLA

I can see that I’m trying to detour from this path that leads me to safety. I would actually rather go to that forest again because I can see that I’m trying to avoid it, but this desire to achieve safety is stronger in me. Really, I would like to get there first.

KOSJENKA

Great. Just acknowledge part of you that would prefer to make a detour, that would prefer to not continue. How old is that part of you?

ELLA

I get two answers. The first answer is one and a half and the second is 3 years old.

KOSJENKA

Great. So two beliefs perhaps, two parts to work with some time later. For now simply give them a hug and take their hands and encourage them, tell them that you are going towards something better and that it won’t be too difficult. How do they respond?

ELLA

I took the smaller one in my arms and she’s embracing my neck and she’s on my left side and the bigger one the older one she’s on my right and she’s looking at me with trust.

KOSJENKA

While loving and protecting those two little girls make another step. Feel or notice what is going on on that step.

ELLA

It was a little weird, because I kind of jumped through that forest. It wasn’t a long step, I jumped through it, it was like … forest. I’ve jumped through it and behind the forest there is an endless open space, it’s sunny and both of the girls grew up, they’re not me, one is like a teenager and the other is a grown up woman. I can see a heart and there are rainbows coming out of the heart, many colors.

KOSJENKA

Where is the heart? In front of you, inside of you…?

ELLA

In front of me.

KOSJENKA

If you make a step forward would you step into the heart, or is it a bit further away?

ELLA

One step is enough. Now I’m in the center, I’m inside of that heart. I’m in the center of the heart and the rainbow surrounds me, it’s also coming out of this center.

KOSJENKA

Great, excellent. Simply feel the emotional energy in the center of this heart and the rainbow.

ELLA

It’s the feeling of absolute happiness. Endless happiness.

KOSJENKA

Wonderful. Let the happiness flow through your body. Let happiness flow through younger parts of you. How would life be in this state of happiness?

ELLA

Amazing.

KOSJENKA

From this happiness, imagine to remember Ella from the past where we started. Perhaps not too long ago. Ella who would like to pay off her debts but somehow feels safe being in debt. From this state of happiness of the heart and the rainbow, what would you like to say to that Ella?

ELLA

I would like to give her my hand and I would like to tell her, Come on, come here!

KOSJENKA

Take this happiness with you, take this feeling and energy of happiness and gently come back to present time. How do you feel now about feeling safe and about paying off your debts?

ELLA

It feels so simple.

KOSJENKA

Yes. Actually, many things in life are simple if there weren’t so many past emotions and beliefs that sabotage us. Thank you very much, Ella.

ELLA

Thank you so much. It was amazing. I feel that I made such a big step. It might have been the biggest step in my life.

KOSJENKA

Wonderful!

ELLA

I’ve understood a lot, emotionally. I cannot explain it but I get the feeling that many many issues got resolved during this one session.

KOSJENKA

Great. Thank you for that feedback.

ELLA

Thank you very much.

 

Comment: This was a less common version of Goalwalk; through metaphorical images. We follow what the client tells us and work with it. Ella spontaneously created visual metaphors, but that is not a necessary part of the work. We check at every step what is happening to the client, what information is coming up. We return later to what is important to work with that in depth. The client will not always be aware of all the information coming from the subconscious, but can signal it nonverbally; therefore, it is important to monitor and respond to nonverbal cues. At the same time, this process helps the client build resources and motivation, as the last part of the demonstration with Ella nicely showed.

  

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Transcript: Resolving Complex Inner Conflict

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"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."

- C.G.Jung

Kosjenka Muk

I’m an Integrative Systemic Coaching trainer and special education teacher. I taught workshops and gave lectures in 10 countries, and helped hundreds of people in 20+ countries on 5 continents (on- and offline) find solutions for their emotional patterns. I wrote the book “Emotional Maturity In Everyday Life” and a related series of workbooks.

Some people ask me if I do bodywork such as massage too – sadly, the only type of massage I can do is rubbing salt into wounds.  😉

Just kidding. I’m actually very gentle. Most of the time.

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